Two-photon microscopy: visualization of kidney dynamics

Kidney Int. 2007 Aug;72(4):416-21. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2007 May 30.


The introduction of two-photon microscopy, along with the development of new fluorescent probes and innovative computer software, has advanced the study of intracellular and intercellular processes in the tissues of living organisms. Researchers can now determine the distribution, behavior, and interactions of labeled chemical probes and proteins in live kidney tissue in real time without fixation artifacts. Chemical probes, such as fluorescently labeled dextrans, have extended our understanding of dynamic events with subcellular resolution. To accomplish expression of specific proteins in vivo, cDNAs of fluorescently labeled proteins have been cloned into adenovirus vectors and infused by micropuncture to induce proximal tubule cell infection and protein expression. The localization and intensity of the expressed fluorescent proteins can be observed repeatedly at different time points allowing for enhanced quantitative analysis while limiting animal use. Optical sections of images acquired with the two-photon microscope can be 3-D reconstructed and quantified with Metamorph, Voxx, and Amira software programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Erythrocyte Aggregation
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Ischemia / blood
  • Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Ischemia / pathology
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton*
  • Microscopy, Video*
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Software
  • Time Factors


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Luminescent Proteins